Chris McNulty, the PRO of the Ulster Senior League, has stressed that the clubs need to do their own bit to keep their focus in the local media.
McNulty was speaking at the league’s AGM in the Mount Errigal Hotel.
He said: “Although we have a small number of teams competing in the USL at the moment, there remains a strong appetite locally for news and reports from the League.Last year, I urged clubs and their PROs to pay greater care and attention to their duties, but in many cases this has not happened.
“Our people and our clubs are quick to criticise media for not giving ample space to our League – but who can blame them when some of our own people don’t see fit to give their own players and games the time and coverage they deserve?
“In this day and age, where access to technology has never been easier, this is simply not good enough. It is a constant source of frustration that we are still having the same conversations at delegate meetings and AGMs. The solution to this is a simple one – and, again, I urge clubs to take this in hand.
“Remember, it is you the clubs and your players who will ultimately suffer.
“I feel as if I must mention the senior clubs, Finn Harps and Derry City, here. The participation of the senior clubs has been a major positive for the League but sadly these clubs are the biggest offenders when it comes to non-compliance. During the season past it became the rule rather than the exception that the minutes and hours after home games for Finn Harps and Derry City would be spent garnering simple information such as the result and goalscorers in order to put together a report of their games myself.
“These clubs, who have dedicated PR teams at senior level, should be raising the bar, rather than lowering it for our clubs. The fine for non-compliance is 50 euro each match – it is an expensive and avoidable habit for clubs.
“PROs are asked to text updates of goals, scorers and incidents to the League PRO, who will subsequently update the USL’s facebook page with the relevant information. Club PROs are also asked to submit detailed match reports following the game – and in time for publication in the media – and are encouraged to send photographs so the reports can be illustrated in the media.”
McNulty added that the league should have a new website up and running for the start of the 2019/20 campaign and thanked Leonard Watson of Watson Menswear for his support with the Player of the Month award.
McNulty concluded: “We have a good product in the USL, in spite of the small numbers and thankfully the clubs and participants within the League believe in what we have. It is disappointing, therefore, to see and sometimes hear negative comment and cheap shots being directed at the USL from within our own ranks. Alas, empty vessels continue to make the most noise.
As a League, we are actively working for the retention of and the betterment of intermediate football in this area. The USL has seemed in difficulty at various stages in the past, but has managed to survive and we remain confident of overcoming the hurdles that are in front of us.”